Trump’s White House Lawyer Spotted At DOJ Informant Briefings For Lawmakers

The White House attorney responsible for handling its response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe was spotted heading into two Justice Department briefings Thursday for lawmakers on a reported “informant” the FBI used in its investigation of the Trump campaign.

Emmet Flood was spotted at the Justice Department, where Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other DOJ officials were scheduled to brief House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the Intel Committee, also attended the noon briefing, after initial reports that only Republican lawmakers were invited. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly also reportedly attended at least part of the briefing.

 

FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats also joined Rosenstein at the briefings. After the noon meeting, they headed to the Capitol to brief the so-called “Gang of 8”: The House and Senate Intel Committees’ chairs and vice chairs, the House Speaker and Minority Leader, and the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders. (Ryan attended the noon briefing due to a prior commitment.) Gowdy was also slated to attend that meeting.

Flood, too, was spotted heading into the briefing, being held in the basement of the Capitol, as was Kelly.

Kelly did not explain Flood’s presence at the briefings when asked by CNN reporters at the Capitol.

The White House Press Secretary had previously said that White House officials would not be attending the briefings.

The White House in a statement said that Flood and Kelly only made brief remarks at the top of the meetings to “relay the President’s desire for as much openness as possible under the law,” as well as to convey “the President’s understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government.”

“After making their brief comments they departed before the meetings officially started,” the statement said.

Update: This story has been updated with a statement from the White House.

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